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Nail-biter turns into a rout for Jones

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KINGSTON, ONT. — Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones drew for a four-ender in the seventh end and then stole three more in the eighth end to turn a 4-4 nail-biter with Nova Scotia into an 11-4 rout here at the Canadian women’s curling championship Monday afternoon.

Manitoba actually trailed 3-1 heading into the fifth end as Jones, who has been at the very top of her game this week, uncharacteristically struggled with her draw weight and broom placement early on, shooting just 73 per cent through the first five ends.

But this game ultimately turned on the seventh end. With the game tied and Manitoba already lying three, Nova Scotia skip Mary-Anne Arsenault sailed a freeze attempt through the house with her final stone of the end. Jones attempted a split on a Manitoba stone just out front of the rings for a possible five-ender, but had to settle for four when the split failed.

"We had a really close game and then we popped a four," said Jones, noting that’s been Nova Scotia’s undoing here this week as a team of women who won five Canadian titles together are now winless in their first four games. "I think a lot of their games have been close and they’ve given up one bad end."

That’s been the problem alright, said Nova Scotia second Colleen Jones. "In the Maritimes, if you have one miss in an end, you don’t pay for it with a three or four," said Jones. "You can always get out of it."

With the victory, Manitoba improves to 4-0 and remains in a tie for first place with Ontario’s Rachel Homan, Saskatchewan’s Jill Shumay and Canada’s Heather Nedohin. Nedohin beat Quebec’s Allison Ross 12-2 Monday afternoon; Homan needed an extra end to dispatch B.C.’s Kelly Scott 9-8; and Shumay drew to backing with her final stone of the 10th end to beat Alberta 7-6.

Jones returns to the ice Monday evening, when she plays NWT’s Kerry Galusha (1-3).

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